What does this have to do with business? Well, if you work out of your home, it means EVERYTHING!
Today I want to talk to you about my favorite task to outsource – cleaning house. I don’t know about you, but vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, aren’t on my list of favorite things to do. I’d much rather spend the afternoon writing to you or creating a new program than scrubbing the bathtub.
So, in 2012 I finally hired a cleaning lady and outsourced the vacuuming and bathtub scrubbing. I remember arriving home after the first time she cleaned to a sparkly + fresh clean house, and I all I could think of was why the heck I didn’t hire someone sooner. It felt so good to be working in a clean environment and not having to think about all the things I had to get done around the house every day.
I outsourced my housework for 2 years and 3 months, but then when my husband retired in the spring of 2014, he decided to take over those duties and it’s been working out great (as long as I don’t have to do it, lol!).
But think about it…
How much time do you spend cleaning house each week?
If you (like me) don’t particularly enjoy it, it probably takes you quite some time. Hiring a housekeeper to come in even just once a week to clean the house for a few hours could easily give you an extra 5 to 6 hours of time to work on your business, or even better spend with your family or friends.
How much more would you make each week, if you devoted just 2 of those hours to building your business? If you can bring in as much money (or even more) as you are paying your housekeeper, it would definitely be worth your while to hire one.
Heidi, one of my readers, asked:
Do you have any suggestions on HOW to find a good ‘housekeeper’??? That’s definitely an area of my life that I just can’t seem to keep up with & I get overly stressed out when my house is a mess. How do you find someone you can trust? Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Melissa! You’re awesome!”
So Heidi, here’s a few tips for you 🙂
3 tips for finding a good housekeeper:
1. Just like with any other outsourcing you do, referrals are best. Ask your friends or other parents at school…just start asking. I used a “reputable” service with bonded employees once, but they didn’t do a very thorough job and they were overpriced. Thankfully, I found a local woman who turned out to be a fabulous housekeeper.
2. If you don’t know the person, stay near. There is no reason that you have to leave the house while they do the cleaning, especially as you’re getting to know each other. Just be accommodating and get out of the way when they work in a certain area.
3. Make sure you get your money’s worth. As I mentioned, I wasn’t happy with the service I used. They didn’t move anything on the floor to clean underneath, no matter how light it was. This included plants, baskets, etc…and forget about even moving or attempting to vacuum under a couch. I assume this might be due to employee or worker’s compensation regulations, but to me – it was lame. I’d come home and feel like I could have done a better job…and that’s saying a lot. So, before you take someone on, be sure you ask what they do and don’t do…and how much time they’d need to keep your house sparkly clean.
As you probably know either by experience or having me shove it down your throat – outsourcing tasks in your business allows you to open up time to do other things like spend time with family, concentrate on parts of your business that may be getting neglected or expanding your business.
You may outsource your bookkeeping, administrative tasks, support, programming, writing, etc.
…But what about the details of your life that can distract you from working, or worse yet, keep you from your family just as much as before?
Did you ever stop to think hiring assistants to help you with your business so you can have time to do laundry, mow the lawn or vacuum can actually backfire? Think about it – if you’re so strapped for time now that even after you hire business help you find yourself still needing more time with family or to focus on your business, then maybe it’s time to think about outsourcing for your personal life too.
For instance, I was outsourcing a good chunk of my cleaning to a housekeeper 3 hours per week and my house was cleaner than it would ever be if I was in charge and that’s a real stress reliever. There’s nothing worse than looking around at a messy house and feeling like you should be doing something.
What do you outsource in your personal life to give you more time for business? If you don’t outsource anything now, what do you think you could outsource to give more focused work time and less stress?